QC told: Get P316-M ‘green fund’ | Inquirer News

QC told: Get P316-M ‘green fund’

COA calls on city gov’t to demand from retailers plastic bag taxes collected since mid-2012
/ 05:05 AM July 09, 2019

QC told: Get P316-M ‘green fund’

PLASTIC FEE Retailers charge customers P2 per bag. —PDI FILE PHOTO

MANILA, Philippines — The Commission on Audit (COA) has called on the Quezon City government to collect from retailers about P316.5 million worth of plastic bag taxes that the agency said were public funds.

In its report, COA found out that since the implementation of the plastic bag tax in the second half of 2012, only P24.8 million out of the P341.4 million collected — or a mere 7.27 percent — was actually spent for various environmental projects, leaving a balance that remained with business establishments across the city.


In 2012, the Quezon City government implemented Ordinance No. SP-2140, or the Plastic Bag Reduction Ordinance which instituted the Plastic Recovery System Fee (PRSF) that earmarked a “green fund,” supposedly for pro-environment programs in the city. This provision was echoed in City Ordinance No. SP-2350, or the Quezon City Environment Code that was implemented in 2014.


Under the PRSF, supermarkets, department stores, grocery stores, fast-food chains and pharmacies charged P2 per plastic bag sold to customers.

Public fund

But in January, a COA Commission Proper (CP) ruled that the green fund was a public fund that must be subjected to audit by the agency and city officials.

“It concurred in the recommendation of the Legal Affairs Office, Legal Service Sector that the imposition of the Plastic Recovery System Fee is in the nature of a regulatory fee,” the CP said.

“The green fund, having been acquired through police power of the city government, is a public fund subject to COA’s audit jurisdiction,” it added.

In its reply, the Quezon City government said the proposed amendments to the city ordinance about the remittance of the remaining fund would be subjected to deliberations by a technical working group overseeing its enforcement.


However, COA said that it was still waiting for demand letters to be issued to retailers.

It also recommended that the local government include a provision in the amended ordinance that would require retailers to remit their collections on a regular basis to the city treasurer’s office.

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One of the proposed amendments was that the city government should implement the environmental projects from the collected tax, not the retailers, as it was mandated to protect the environment.

TAGS: COA, Quezon City

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